Type 1 and retirement


I am quickly approaching retirement age, but I know I will probably have to work longer than I want for insurance reasons. Has anyone ever looked into retiring to another country where medical costs might be lower than the U.S.? Does such a place exist? Thanks!

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I travel all over the world and there are many countries that not only have lower medical costs but where you can live very well on your social security check even without additional investments. Do you have any countries in mind? Do you speak any foreign languages? Do you want hot or cold environment? Humidity or dry climate?

What kind of lifestyle are you looking for? Continued learning? Artistic? Lots of exercise such as hiking?

Once you make a bucket list of what is important to you and your future, the entire world becomes your oyster.


I had a 1-month work assignment in Cuenca, Ecuador several years ago. Gorgeous place with lots of US retirees. Decent medical support, US money is accepted at all stores and restaurants, stable year-round temperatures in the 70-80s, and a very inexpensive cost of living. Hummingbirds as big as your hand! I loved the Andes mountains. Made me seriously think about my future when I decide to retire.


Does anyone know if you have to obtain citizenship in the host country before you get their health care benefits?


I don’t know of any country in the world that requires you to be a citizen in order to get health care benefits, you just need to be a legal resident of that country.


I was thinking if Costa Rica. Learning Spanish


And buy a generator. :grinning:


Always a good idea. Really nice options are newly on the market last couple years.
IMHO the biggest issue is fuel for such.


When working in a country where electricity is iffy, I have found that storing a little insulin in refrigerators in different districts gives great peace of mind. Citywide outages are rare, power is usually lost in certain districts. (War zones not included)


I’ve even got a generator in San Jose, because of the frequent outtages in my neighborhood which has 40+ year-old equipment and wiring. I got a Ryobi from Home Depot that is very quiet (it’s insulated so that much of the typical gen noise is suppressed). I got it mostly so we can use the fridge and not worry about food spoilage during hours-long outtages.

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Certainly looks like entertaining retiring in a Third World Country that is on the rise possibly look like a very attractive upgrade for both health and wealth. Oftentimes, however, it is extended family that keeps us in our current environment, not what is necessarily best for me, me, me.

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I don’t think its necessary to leave the US as the entire country has not been destroyed by the pocket picking tax and regulation people “yet” (I hope not)

Another option is looking at the “off grid” lifestyle. www.google.com/search?q=“off+grid”+lifestyle

In my opinion the best way to do off grid is boats https://www.living-aboard.com/florida-liveaboard-marinas.html


My in laws are Dominican and returned to the Dominican Republic from the US upon retirement. They receive Social Security and have Medicare, most of the care they need is obtained locally and is inexpensive and competent. My father in law returns to the US every other year for a week or two for his specialty appointments and then goes back.

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How does Medicare process this kind of out-of-the-country health costs? Can you explain it a bit?


I am on Medicare but when I am out of the US, I usually just pay out of pocket in the host country as the costs are so low compared to the US. If I need to buy insulin, for example, $300 of insulin at US list price costs about $30 depending on the exchange rate out of country and interestingly, both US and foreign supply often come out of the same factory.


Yes because cutting taxes to the point where they want to take almost $1 trillion out of Medicare and lack of regulations on the pharmaceuticals are working out so well.


They don’t use Medicare when they are in the Dominican Republic. They come back to the US for a couple of weeks every other year and get their checkups, tests, etc. done and then go back to the DR.


I have had type 1 diabetes since 1983, have been on a pump since the early 1990s and have been retired for 4 years. Medicare plus my supplement pay for all of my pump supplies and insulin. (If you are on a pump, the pharmacy can bill the insulin as a “durable medical supply). Last year, my Endocrinologist outlet on a continuous glucose monitor. Medicare paid for it and all of the supplies needed for its use. So, except for the cost of the supplement, my diabetes supplies have not been a burden for me. You may not have to leave to country to afford your supplies if you are on a pump. If you are not on a pump, your costs will be much more, since you will have to pay for the exorbitant cost of insulin.


You are making a gross error in your calculations. What you are paying in your Medicare plus supplement premiums and co-pays are several times more than the cost of insulin in other countries. If you use $10,000 per year of insulin at MSRP in the US, that same insulin from the same manufacturer will cost you about $1,000 in other countries. That means that your combined Medicare + Supplement + CoPays (If you are MDI rather than pump) or Medicare + Supplement if pumper quarterly payments need to be less than $250 in the US. Not going to happen.


This is a great conversation and I’m learning a lot about what to expect when I reach retirement and Medicare. Thanks everyone for the input. What about retiring to Europe? Is there any where there that is easy and inexpensive? I’m thinking along the lines of Spain or Portugal, but I’m open to other suggestions.